INTRO This is a team that has been a work in progress for a long time, and I finally got it worthy to be posted here for some fine tuning (it's hanging around the 1200 mark on the Smogon ladder). I noticed (as would anyone) during my early endeavors on the 5th gen OU ladder that weather was quite abused in this metagame. However the only weathers that were being abused were sand, rain, and sun, so I thought I'd be a prick and make a hail team designed to get on weather users nerves. What happened was it evolved into a team that could stand alone as a very good team, not just annoy the crap out of weather teams. I feel like this is a winner concept that is limited by my journeyman Pokemon skills so I can't wait to get some feedback from you wonderful folks of the Smogon community. Oh and by the way, I tried to do a team building process, but honestly it was so long ago that this concept was born that I couldn't remember my entire thought process. So little tidbits of the team building process will come up with each poke in the "why it is on my team" part of the poke descriptions. The Team Abomasnow@Leftovers EVs: 252 HP/172 Def/84 SpDef IVs: 0 Spe (to win head to head weather starts) Nature: Sassy Ability: Snow Warning Moves: -Substitute -Leech Seed -Giga Drain -Blizzard Abomasnow was obviously the starting point of this hail team. I chose this set over some of it's more offensive sets because I needed it to be able to stick around through most of the battle if I was going to win any weather wars. The nice thing is it can be pretty low on HP, but if I switch him in on anything it matches up decently with (e.g. bulky water types) he can get himself back up into the green zone with leech seed and Giga Drain and stick around to continue the hail storm. Blizzard is hella powerful and 100% accurate and even with no spAtk investment it can scare away those weak to ice. However it has a lot of weaknesses so I need to have pokes that can switch into those kinds of attacks. That brings us to our next Pokemon. Swampert@Leftovers EVs: 240 HP/ 216 Def/ 52 SpDef Nature: Relaxed Ability: Torrent Moves: -Stealth Rock -Earthquake -Scald -Blizzard Swampert is a great support poke for this team. He resists fire, rock, steel, and poison, which are all weaknesses of Abomasnow, and can take most fighting moves, which makes him a great switch-in for Abomasnow. He is my teams Stealth Rocker and he can cause teams a lot of trouble just because he's so hard to bring down. Earthquake hits a lot of threats in the metagame for supereffective damage, and scald is a nice stab with the bonus of being able to burn. Taking advantage of my team's weather I use Blizzard instead of Icebeam (a common theme on my team) and it makes Swampert a potent dragon counter, often because it is unexpected. Kyurem@Choice Scarf EVs: 252 SpAtk/252 Speed/4 Def Nature: Modest Ability: Pressure Moves: -Dragon Pulse -Blizzard -Focus Blast -Draco Meteor Kyurem is the staple of this team, and is an absolute monster, especially in the hail. It was the first thing I thought to add after Abomasnow, because of the sheer potential of a 100% accurate stab Blizzard coming off of that huge SpAtk stat. I started off running the standard Life Orb set, but I wound up dissatisfied. It just didn't last long enough, and I had huge problems with speedy dragons (for my entire team not just this guy) like the lati-twins among others. That's when the choice scarf idea struck me. I went into team builder and found to my delight that a scarfed Kyurem effortlessly outspeeds a timid Latios, even with a modest nature. Yes, I get accused of hax quite frequently. The switch to a modest nature made the life orb not missed, and the choice limitation wasn't even that bad, because I usually used it as a "come in, wreak havoc, switch out" type anyway. So anyway, Draco Meteor is great for an insanely powerful stab against things that resist blizzard, Dragon Pulse is a good alternative if I can see that I could keep going after KOing the current poke, and Focus Blast provides coverage against steel types. Kingdra@Choice Specs EVs: HP 100/SpAtk 252/Speed 156 Nature: Modest Ability: Swift Swim Moves: -Blizzard -Hydro Pump -Draco Meteor -Hidden Power Fire Remember how I said this team was originally meant to piss off other weather teams? Well Kingdra does that very well while still remaining a great secondary sweeper. I actually came up with the idea to use him after realizing that packing a hail team with a 3 or 4 ice types was a bad idea, and I needed to find some alternatives. I saw all these other teams that were using two (or sometimes more) dragon types, and tried to come up with my own second dragon type. Kingdra fit the bill well, because he provides a 4x resistance to fire which a hail team tends to draw (especially back then when I had more than two ice types) as well as access to Blizzard, and an insanely powerful stab Hydro Pump. Draco Meteor can take care of just about anything that doesn't resist it (excluding some special walls). HP fire allows me to counter things like scizor and ferrothorn, without being obvious like with Infernape. Referring back to the opening statement about Kingdra, he is pure hell for opposing rain teams. I have swift swim on him, so sometimes I'll just let the rain fall, until something that doesn't resist water comes in, then switch in Kingdra. Hydro Pump in the rain coming off of a 474 spAtk (with the specs) KOs just about any non-water resister and can still put a dent into anything that does. Reuniclus@Leftovers EVs: 252 HP/252 SpAtk/4 SpDef Nature: Bold Ability: Magic Guard Moves: -Calm Mind -Focus Blast -Psyshock -Recover I got the idea to use Reuniclus because I saw a lot of Sandstorm teams using him successfully because of his ability, and I thought the same concept could carry over to a hail team. I was right on that count. His immunity to entry hazards, toxic, will-o-wisp, etc., makes him a great stallbreaker, and he is just a great standalone poke. He's won several games for me singlehandedly, and has gotten me out of countless sticky situations. Can also switch into fighting attacks that Kyurem and Abomasnow draw. Other than that not much to say, just a great poke. Infernape@Life Orb EVs: 252Atk/252 Spe/4 SpDef Nature: Jolly Ability: Blaze Moves: -Flare Blitz -Close Combat -Mach Punch -U-turn The previous five Pokemon have been on this team's previous million versions. It was this slot that has given me so much trouble. I've tried literally 10 or 11 Pokemon in this slot, but all of those versions had me right around 1000, so obviously I'm satisfied with the approx. 200 point boost Infernape has given me. My previous thought process was that I needed a Steel type, or anything that could take a dragon hit, which my team is on the whole unable to do well. So I tried everything from Magnezone, to Empoleon, to Metagross, to most recently Lucario. I even tried things like Rotom-W and Gyrados. But I realized after all of these versions, that I needed a good physical attacker, because before nape my only physical attack was Swampert's Earthquake. Also, I wanted a fighting move other than Focus Blast and some more speed on my team. This version of Infernape helped out a lot. Plus a good fire attack was something I needed anyway. Infernape deals with a lot of things easily that previously were very difficult to handle. Uturn is great for allowing Infernape to pop in and out of the battle, while dealing good damage to Psychic types. Flare Blitz is extremely powerful in its own right but hits things like ferrothorn and scizor hard without having to rely on Kindra's hidden power as my only means of defense. A good fighting type is always great in this metagame and Infernape provides that. The trade off is, powerful Dragon type moves are hard for me to take. However I've found that I can take out opposing dragon types quite easily, what with all the Blizzard users I have, so I try to get them before an imminent Dragon attack lurks before me, and the strategy is usually pretty successful. Threat List In General Special Walls can be a problem if Infernape goes down. Ironically, even though the purpose of this team was to take on weather teams, sandstorm teams can give me trouble too. Those are the two main overarching weaknesses that I have found (feel free to point out others) now for the specific mons. Haxorus - Like I said my team isn't very good at taking powerful dragon attacks, but the reason that Hax is a particularly big problem is because choice sets are standard on it. I have to guess if it's using a band or a scarf. If it's using a band Kyurem takes it out easy, however if I'm wrong about that, it outspeeds Kyurem and takes it out just as easy. If it's a Choice band and I predict scarf, by the time I figure out it's attacks are too powerful to be scarfed it's already done significant damage Jellicent - the specially defensive variety to be specific. It's completely wall's Infernape, whcih I ususally use to get rid of Special Walls. You'd think Abomasnow would match up well, but if it can get will-o-wisp or toxic on it it will win the ensuing Giga Drain vs. Recover battle. Tentacruel- I don't know if you have noticed, but I lack an Electric move on my team. I ususally rely on Giga Drain to take care of water types, however Tentacreul's Liquid Ooze combined with it's neutrality to grass moves makes it difficult to handle. Any Water type neutral to grass could go on here, this is just one that stands out. Politoed - The rain instigator itself can be a problem because it often carries Focus Blast and is faster than my Abomasnow, which again, is what I generally use to take care of water types. Also it can take two of Kingdra's Hydro Pumps in the rain without going down, and it's own Hydro Pumps can do considerable damage to a lot of my team. Jirachi- Has been giving me a lot of trouble recently. Infernape scares it away so I can never get a flare blitz on it, and anything I have with the coverage to beat it is too slow to take it. Plus all of the things I try to replace swampert with as suggested below make my team's Jirachi weakness even worse. So those are just a few of my main threats, I don't like to post everything under the sun that has ever given me trouble. These are just the ones that come up fairly often. Well if you're reading this, thanks a million for checking out my team. I am open to your ideas and will appreciate and consider all feedback and constructive criticism.